There is a scene in Arjun Reddy where our arrogant and violent protagonist who kisses a girl without her permission, actually talks about why another girl has been objectified. This scene makes you feel that our hero is not so bad at all and does respect women. This scene was removed in the Hindi remake of the film, Kabir Singh (starring Shahid Kapoor in the lead).
This decision was taken by director Sandeep Reddy Vanga, who has directed both films, saying that the Hindi version needed to be trimmed by 12 minutes. Another scene where it is shown that Kabir Singh is not a guy who has slept with many women, but only someone who brags about his encounters that never happened (like most guys in reality), was also removed from Kabir Singh.
Well, it is clear that the decision to remove these two scenes from Kabir Singh was a deliberate one. A decision that would make the Hindi version of Arjun Reddy much more impactful because it will only show one side of Kabir Singh's character. Naturally, there will be strong reactions from audiences and critics alike - for or against.
So, what is Sandeep Reddy Vanga cribbing about in the interview with Anupama Chopra for Film Companion? Why is he hitting out at critics and feminists, saying they have not experienced LOVE in its truest form? Does only Sandeep know what love is? Love can be in different forms for different couples.
Mr Sandeep Reddy Vanga, 'love' is not the freedom to slap each other - on the face or any other part of the body. It may be for you. But for most others, love is understanding, compassion, support, sometimes compromise, and at times supreme sacrifice.
The director got exactly the kind of views that he wanted for Kabir Singh - leading to a lot of noise around the film and stupendous box office success. The film is running in theatres at a premium and people want to see what the brouhaha is all about.
The Kabir Singh box office collection stands at over Rs 200 crore and will likely cross Rs 250-300 crore, making it one of the highest Bollywood grossers of 2019. It is also the highest grossing Indian film in Australia.
While one may agree with the director when he says that certain critics are not looking at Kabir Singh or Arjun Reddy cinematically, his remarks about critics in general and feminists in particular are as outrageous as some scenes in his film.
Mr Reddy Vanga, internationally when cinema was a new medium, film critics and filmmakers fed on each other. They needed each other. Some critics turned filmmakers and vice versa. It is not that we don't understand the medium. We do watch films as an audience. But just like a filmmaker falters with his movie-making, at times critics, too, may go overboard with their personal opinion.
Wonder what hungama will be created when the second remake of Arjun Reddy comes out, in Tamil as Adithya Varma. It is directed by Gireesaaya and is the debut film of Dhruv Vikram, the son of superstar Vikram. Adithya Varma has been reshot entirely. So, let's see if the new director has a new approach to the storytelling of this flawed hero of ours being celebrated by the masses. But according to reports, Adithya Varma will stay true to the original just like Kabir Singh.
As for Sandeep Reddy Vanga, he is smiling his way to the bank and creating more buzz with his 'innocent' cribbing that Kabir Singh has been slammed much more than Arjun Reddy. What do you think?